So this eucalyptus tree dropped a 200 pound limb in the middle of the parking lot exit for the Spirit Halloween store that is about to open any day now. The overflow from the shopping center next door uses this parking lot along with all of the employees if Future Ford.
The tree blocked the driveway and it was fun to sit and watch as people approached this obstacle. In the three hours I watched there were only men in large trucks who even approached it. Most saw it before they turned and avoided it altogether. Including the salesman who drives a new Mustang.
The first thing that would happen is the guy would pull up, get out with grand flourish and with all machismo, they would try to move the branch. Then they would really try and realize they could not overcome the forced of nature and gravity. Then they would get back in their truck and back out.
Finally one guy was able to move it enough he could drive over it. Once he did that, it was like an ant trail and every guy with a truck who came after just rolled right through it. I had someone ask me to help them move it and I politely declined explaining that I lacked adequate healthcare options through the affordable care act that would ensure my expenses should I get injured in this endeavor. He said something about my genitals or my Uncle Richard. Not sure which.
The Future Ford Employees use this as their personal parking lot, often filling the lot by 8am. When the Halloween store opens, they will no longer be able to do this as the store will enforce the customer parking only ordinances. While on the surface this might sound like it is the business owner being selfish and greedy, the ramifications are all financial.
In this case the 20 parking spaces are vital for this store to make all the money they can between opening and Halloween and the rent they pay includes the parking lot. Would you be ok with some stranger using your driveway to go to your neighbors yard sale?
Tupelo Coffee House has been in Sacramento for more then 20 years. They roast their own coffee. They are a small independent coffee company that predates the Seattle Coffee Plague. They are the anchor in a shopping center with other destination businesses. This means people come their either for the coffee place or to go to one of those stores. People often find the other stores through visiting the coffee house.
Across the street is a sports bar and on the other side is a Starbucks. My friend is a licensed and paid security Guard and he has spent many hours ensuring that people going to the Sports Bar or the Starbucks do not park in this lot. He also ensures that those who do park legitimately do not stay longer then 90 minutes.
The owner of the Cafe along with the owner of the shopping center had to do this after the Starbucks opened because they literally lost most of the spaces to Starbucks and it negatively impacted their business. When he first started doing it, he would tell me about the attitudes and behaviors of the people he encountered. The majority when informed were understanding and didn’t push the issue.
Those rare few though, their attitudes and behaviors reflect what The Buddha said that everyone suffers, and that the root of all suffering is selfishness. This is clearly an example of people who feel they have a sense of purpose in their task that drived their overtly selfish behavior. The first couple of weeks were hell as we began Football season last year.
The Sports Bar wasn’t the problem, nor were it’s customers for the most part. The first issue was with a father who’s daughter was selling Girl Scout Cookies across the street. He pulled in and when he realized that my friend was making a notation of his plate, got rude and combative then insulting and belligerent when he realized that he could not get the rules bent for him. Here is the irony, had he of said “Hey, may daughter is selling cookies and I just want to stop by and see her for a minute.” My friend, a father with a daughter, would have let him.
Instead he decided to swear and insult my friend, who because of his journey through this life has had to deal with the vehemently rude and insulting nature of self righteously angry people. When his shift was over he crossed the street to buy cookies and the father pushed the other mother out of the way and continued to berate my friend. He took it all in stride, said thank you and explained how he was kind of glad his daughter wasn’t interested in scouting.
Another was a woman who swore she was going to the consignment store and when she started walking to Starbucks explained she was “early” for her appointment. She even tossed the name of the owner of the store and shopping center as if this legitimized her complaint. When she realized she wasn’t going to win she changed tactics. She went in the consignment store hoping to just look around and then sneak out.
She thought that she was smarter then my friend and that she could just go in the store and waste a few minutes. When she came out and headed away from her car to the Stsrbucks, she thought that because my friend wasn’t visible that she was free. Her shock and dismay when he stepped out from behind a Mini van and asked where she was going quickly turned to anger vitriolic responses about his manhood, intelligence and fascism because she couldn’t just park there and get her god dammed Starbucks.
When I take my friend to work or pick him up, which happens frequently right now since his car died, I get coffee there. I do it even though a 12 ounce cup of ice coffee is $2.10 and refills cost $1.25 which is exorbitant and far more then the competition. It is very good coffee but I do it for two different reasons: they pay my friend to guard their parking lot and they are owned by a private individual and not part of a large chain.